Run by a guy simply called Chef Or, Noor BGC is the newest dining destination in Burgos Circle this 2018. Serving modern Mediterranean cuisine, Chef Or takes traditional Greek cuisine and infuses it with hints of Arabic influences from North Africa, Iran, Israel and Turkey. While the restaurant might feel casual, all Noor dishes are made with high quality ingredients prepared with care.
The Isreali chef moved to Manila with his family to open a restaurant with his namesake. “Noor” in Arabic means “light” or “flame”. “Or” in Hebrew means the same thing. There is something innocent in the light flavors employed. I feel that I may have misjudged him when I criticized his lack of flavor using my boxed standards, and for that, I apologize, Chef Or.
We got to try two signature cocktails, both of which I finished. Named after the Russian-American singer-songwriter, the Regina Spektor (PHP 380) is a classy and soulful drink made with vodka, campori, cointreau, egg white and orange. It was only after I started listening to her songs when I realized that it was Regina Spektor who sang “The Call” in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I fell in love with the bittersweet melody and nostalgic piano and violins when I first heard the song in 2008. The song depicted innocence at the cusp of maturation, the deliberate release of one’s childlike wonder at the the realization that the world is bigger than him. At the age of 18, I associated well with the subtle complexity of the haunting melody.
Meanwhile, the cocktail named after the resto, Noor (PHP 380), is a light, refreshing drink made with gin, fresh basil, cucumber, fresh lemon juice and tonic water. It’s the perfect representation of what Noor stands for.
A familiar and fun-to-eat bar chow, the Moroccan Cigars are deep fried spring rolls filled with your choice of Short Rib (PHP 290) or Fish (PHP 250). The 2-flavor dip is made of aioli and a spicy red sauce made with Harissa spice from North Africa.
Balanced by the tart, creamy Tzatziki with olive oil and charred eggplant, the grilled, peppered Moroccan Shrimps (PHP 470) are a great way to start the meal.
Playing with a boring vegetable, Chef Or takes Cauliflower (PHP 350) to the next level by seasoning it with spices and deep frying it to a crisp. The creamy Caesar aioli that coats each piece of cauliflower is generously drizzled with with lime to add a certain depth to an otherwise ordinary dish.
My favorite dish that day, the Lamb Baklava (PHP 460) is a unique take on the popular Turkish dessert turned into a savory puff pastry. Stuffed with mildly gamy lamb, the modernized phyllo dish has sweet highlights from the raspberry sauce and creamy nutty undertones from the sesame dressing. This has never been done before!
The purple tinge in the Cured Purple Salmon (PHP 460) is achieved through marination in beet root, which adds a slightly sweet earthy note to the salmon. Served with a side of garlic bread, the cured salmon in olive oil is accentuated by the capers, horseradish cream and cucumber dill salsa. Definitely not boring!
The Fish Shawarma (PHP 600) is tilapia in curry with an assortment of fresh and crunchy herbs are a contrast against the thick, soft pita bread.
Noor BGC Menu
Location: Unit F133, Forbeswood Heights, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 11 AM to 12 MN
Contact Number: (+63 2) 246-9069 ext:560